Tag Archives: Robbie Keane

European drama

12 Oct

Euro 2012 qualifiers continued today and I finally got to watch some of the action. (Yay for ESPN3 at work!) 

  • Germany absolutely dominated Kazakhstan and had Mesut Ozil been able to find the back of the net, the Germans could have won 7-0 instead of 3-0.   I love watching Germany play. They spread the field so well and move the ball up the field quickly on counterattacks. They currently sit top of their group with four wins out of four games.
  • In the same group, Azerbaijan upset Turkey, 1-0.  Turkey looked lackluster against Germany last week and obviously did not improve much today. Turkey can still qualify, but they have a lot less margin for error now.
  • Seriously, can Liverpool catch a break?  Both Dirk Kuyt and Daniel Agger picked up injuries playing for their respective countries and first reports say that Kuyt could be out until February.  However, I’m skeptical of that as he was able to walk off the field under his own power and did not look like he was in too much pain.  Guess we will just have to wait and see.
  • England was zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Oh, sorry, I fell asleep there. Yeah, that bad. Way to go Montenegro.
  • Spain was able to hold off a plucky Scotland, thanks to a late goal from Fernando Llorente. I have to give props to Scotland though for not sitting back against the defending champions of everything. They kept their calm after going down 2-0 and were close to pulling off a huge draw.
  • Robbie Keane missed a couple big chances to give Ireland a win over Slovakia.  He had a penalty saved and also skied a clear look at goal. Keane and Ireland had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
  • Of course all the teams I said that needed to win this week did. France, Portugal and the Czech Republic all got their campaigns back on track.
  • The Faroe Islands, yeah that team with a -13 goal difference and not a point to its name, frustrated Northern Ireland in a 1-1 draw. Way to go, little guys.
  • Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the chaos in Italy.  The match between Italy and Serbia had to be called off completely due to “crowd disturbances”. In other words, Serbian hooligans were throwing flares on the field towards their own team (I don’t get it either) and were generally causing massive amounts of trouble.  The game was originally delayed just over half an hour, but had to be abandoned only six minutes after starting. If you want a startling first-hand account, check out http://twitter.com/marcotti.
Advertisements

2009-10 in review

10 May

Well, another Premier League season is in the books. I just unearthed my preseason predictions:
Premier League champion: Chelsea
Top Four: Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton
Bottom Three: Portsmouth, Birmingham, Blackburn
Player of the Year: Fernando Torres
I got the champion right, go me, but my top four was just a little off and I was one of three on my bottom three. Fernando Torres spent way too much time on the sidelines to even be considered for player of the year.

Player of the year has yet to be decided, but my guess would be that Wayne Rooney wins it.  He’s been the most influential player on the pitch for United and racked up 26 league goals.  He’s already been voted the PFA Player of the Year.

My opinion of the season as a whole is slightly jaded due to the fact that Liverpool played themselves out of it pretty much immediately.  However, I will try to look past that.  It was a decently exciting season with the usual suspects going back and forth at the top of the table to the very last day (Yay for some drama).  Arsenal tried to elbow their way into the top two for a while, but couldn’t hold it together after losing Cesc Fabregas to injury.

“Highlights” of 2009-10:

  • Tottenham breaking into the top four. Way to break the strangehold, Spurs.
  • Portsmouth going into administration and subsequently getting relegated.
  • Portsmouth playing in the FA Cup final (against current holders Chelsea).
  • No English teams in the Champions League semifinals.
  • Steven Gerrard elbows Portsmouth’s Michael Brown in the head. Gets away with it.
  • John Terry sleeps with Wayne Bridge’s girlfriend.  Bridge quits England, snubs Terry in pre-match handshake.  Whoa, drama.
  • Landon Donovan kicks ass on loan at Everton.  They don’t keep him.
  • Ah! Snow!  No one can handle it, so games get postponed.
  • Managers get sacked. (See: Mark Hughes, Phil Brown)
  • Liverpool’s season is doomed by a beach ball.
  • Didier Drogba whines. Wins Golden Boot.
  • Robbie Keane leaves Spurs…again.

What am I missing?  Let me know!

Keane heads back to Tottenham

2 Feb

Striker Robbie Keane is heading back to Tottenham, the club he left this summer to play for Liverpool. Keane has struggled in his time at Liverpool, scoring seven goals in 28 appearances, but failing to earn a regular role in the lineup.

All in all, a good move by Liverpool, especially now that Fernando Torres is back to 100%.

So long, title challenge!

28 Jan

For the second time in a little over a week, Liverpool gave up a late game-tying goal.  First, a 90th minute header from Everton’s Tim Cahill and today, a stupid move by Lucas resulted in a Wigan penalty in the 82nd minute.  I’ve tried to avoid questioning who’s in the squad for each game, but it reached a new point today.  With the score tied at 1-1 with about eight minutes left, it makes sense to bring on a striker right?  (You would think maybe a SECOND striker, however, Torres had already been taken out of the game at this point…why exactly, I have no answer for that.) However, it does not make sense to take off Steven Gerrard for Robbie Keane.  Sure, put Keane in, but take off Lucas since he committed the penalty or Babel or ANYONE BUT GERRARD

The reason for taking your two best players off the field was....

The reason for taking your two best players off the field was....

The Reds have now drawn NINE times this season.    With the draw, the Reds fall to third since Chelsea won today.  You can slowly but surely see the team’s confidence slipping.  No more words – will try to be more coherent after digesting another wasted opportunity.  I’ll let Yahoo! Eurosport do it for me:

“Benitez finally brings on Keane but OH NO WHAT IS HE DOING!!?? He takes Gerrard off. Gerrard!! The only man who scores late goals for you all the time! Your best player! After taking off your second-best player, the person next most likely to score late goals etc etc. I give up.”

“Sometimes I want to do painful, tortuous things to Rafa Benitez, like he does to me. He has taken off Torres – the only striker – and brought on Riera – a winger. Even though Keane and Kuyt are on the bench. AAARRRGGGGHHH!!!”

Torres is back in action

3 Jan

Fernando Torres made a substitute appearance for Liverpool today in their 2-0 3rd round FA Cup game against Preston North End.  He even scored a late goal off a dish from Steven Gerrard.  It’s Torres’ first appearance for Liverpool since the end of November.

Proof that Fernando Torres was back in action for Liverpool today.

Proof that Fernando Torres was back in action for Liverpool today.

It’s nice to have Torres back in the lineup…well, nice for everyone except Robbie Keane I’m sure, who struggled mightily in front of goal today.  Despite the victory, the Liverpool side took a couple hits.  Xabi Alonso limped off the field at the end of the first half and later returned to the sideline in a walking boot.  Later in the second half, Javier Mascherano also came off with what looked like a hamstring injury.  Hopefully neither player will have to miss any additional time.

Friday’s Premier League Results

26 Dec

Aston Villa 2, Arsenal 2 – Villa went in a 2-0 hole, but leveled the game on a 92nd minute goal from Zat Knight.  Arsenal is now three points off the top four.

Liverpool 3, Bolton 0 – Albert Riera got the scoring started and Robbie Keane found the back of the net twice (3 goals in 2 games!) as the Reds stayed one point clear at the top with the win.  Despite the talk of a potential Torres appearance, the striker wasn’t even on the bench.

Robbie Keane scored twice for Liverpool in their 3-0 win over Blackburn.

Robbie Keane scored twice for Liverpool in their 3-0 win over Blackburn.

Manchester City 5, Hull City 1 – Man City leapfrogged from 18th to 15th with a resounding win over Hull.  City went up 4-0 before Hull found extremely extremely slight consolation in a late goal before Stephen Ireland made them feel even worse when he made the scoreline 5-1.

Middlesbrough 0, Everton 1 – Everton moved up to sixth in the table thanks to a Tim Cahill goal at the beginning of the second half. 

Sunderland 0, Blackburn 0 – Sunderland is now unbeaten in their last three while Rovers are unbeaten under new manager Sam Allardyce.  Blackburn still sits second from bottom in the table.

Wigan 2, Newcastle 1 – Wigan went up 2-0 before a late goal from Newcastle’s Danny Guthrie made the last few minutes quite exciting. 

Chelsea 2, West Brom 0 – Chelsea stayed second in the table with a shutout win over the Baggies.  Didier Drogba put the Blues up only three minutes in, while Frank Lampard added a second just before halftime.

Portsmouth 1, West Ham 4 – Portsmouth got on the board first, but West Ham came roaring back to score four unanswered with Craig “Crazy Ass” Bellamy notching two.  Portsmouth is still winless in Premier League this month.

Tottenham 0, Fulham 0 – Fulham is now unbeaten in eight straight and sits in eighth with a game in hand.

Stoke 0, Manchester United 1 – Carlos Tevez scored the late winner for United against 10-man Stoke.  MU takes back the No. 3 spot in the table with the win.

Arsenal 1, Liverpool 1

21 Dec

Liverpool was without Rafa Benitez on the touchline as he continues to recover from an kidney stones operation.  

Robin Van Persie put the Gunners up 1-0 in the 24th minute after his first touch took him around defender Jamie Carragher.  Liverpool responded three minutes from half when Daniel Agger sent a long ball forward and Robbie Keane struck a lovely half volley over Manuel Almunia.

97476909There were more fireworks in the second half, but they were of the referee’s making.  Arsenal began the second half without captain Cesc Fabregas after he was injured at the end of the first.  Emmanuel Adebayor earned his second yellow of the day as he was trying to shield the ball from Alvaro Arbeloa and was subsequently sent off, leaving Arsenal with 10 men for the final half hour.  It was a rather questionable card, especially after Liverpool’s Leiva Lucas could’ve gone into the book any number of times.  Despite the man advantage for the last half hour, Liverpool was unable to take the opportunity to get a winner.  The Reds waited way too long to make an attacking change and didn’t press their chances immediately after Adebayor was sent off.  The longer the game went without significant Liverpool pressure, the more confident Arsenal became.  Liverpool was unable to get any very clear chances in the end of the second.  Daniel Agger ripped a long distance effort that just missed the goal, but it was the only really decent shot the Reds got off.  There were several times when Liverpool was setting up an attack, only to see it end with an errant pass despite not being under pressure.

Liverpool missed Javier Mascherano in the midfield.  The Argentine did not travel as he was ill.  He was replaced by Lucas, who did a decent job, but needs to learn more control.  

It’s a frustrating draw for Liverpool as they had a chance to be four points clear at the top of the table going into Christmas.  Arsenal dropped points at home (again) and many are saying they are out of the title race completely, however, there is still a lot of football to be played, so we’ll see what happens.  

Chelsea plays at Everton Monday night and if the Blues win, they will be top of the table going into Christmas.

Sunday’s Results

Newcastle 2, Tottenham 1 – Damien Duff gave Newcastle the victory when he scored in the 90th minute.  Newcastle is unbeaten since Nov. 15, while Tottenham is only one point out of the bottom three.

West Brom 2, Manchester City 1 – Late heroics in this one as well – West Brom stole the 3 points when Roman Bednar scored at the death for their first Premier League victory in 12 matches.  Manchester City is now winless since Nov. 22.  Both teams sit in the bottom three.